August the month of insanity, excessive solar radiation disrupting all thoughts, no calm, no peace, the Earth spinning one step ahead of my abIlity to keep pace? As a child, in August, I would dive into water, hold my breath, smelling the algal lake water in my nostrils, while swimming submerged as long as possible. The compression of water a sanctuary.
What sanctuary is there now from August’s onslaught? A world so mad it admits not its own madness, never confessing its own sins. The world pressing down like the meaning of The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats as we are “Turning and turning in the widening gyre…”
And yet, I doubt “some revelation is at hand.”
Can anything be as sweet as a peach from your own tree?
I Attended a Bat Mitzvah today
Sitting in a synagogue hearing the prayers, listening to the music, observing the rituals, reading the words, noticing the clothes, incantations, tracing the ark back in time, the promise of God’s comfort, the seeking of peace…
I see the beauty and the certainty coming from the young as the embrace their responsibility, their entry into the disputes and contradictions of their faith. They are so strong.
There is only a short window in life for the eternal imprinting of God’s comfort. They are young, they are certain, even in their uncertainty.
I come from a broken home that imparted no certainty, and only conflicting messages about spiritual and rational being. I invent the world every day anew, as I need to.
Though it forces self reflection, today is not about me. Today is about the beauty of two young people stepping forward in their lives.
I went to the county courthouse this morning to help a friend get a restraining order on her abusive husband. The misery factor on display in the courthouse is overwhelming. The sadness of so many hard lives is difficult. The scary aspect of it is how matter of fact it is to the people who work there. They deal with broken dreams every day and so are inured to the weight of it. Not so for the wondeful police woman who helped things this morning, she a caring and reassuring presence for our friend.
As for snake oil, the thought occurred to me that a lot of this misery might be relieved by a fully funded and functioning government that addresses human need before human greed. I am reminded of my favorite lyric in Steve Earle’s anthem to hope, Jerusalem, that responds to the news proclaiming that hatred and violence have always existed and will always prevail. It says, “And I almost listened to him, yeah I almost lost my mind, then I regained my senses again, and looked in my heart to find, that I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham will lay down their arms together in Jerusalem.”. Yes indeed.
Gosh don’t you just get tired of shit-heads telling you they want to put people back to work by giving more money to the rich? These guys are simply bought and paid for by people who rob the country. Same old snake oil, same old line. I say these cats owe back taxes on the last thirty years, and if I was in office I would collect those taxes. Every day regular people in the United States get their quality of life diminished by people who don’t pay their fair share of taxes. It’s that simple. If they did, there would be good schools, universal health care, fairly priced housing, and a clean environment. Lies lies lies. ‘It’s called snake oil, y’all, it’s been around for a long long time…” Steve Earle